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Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Shed?

Yes, Bernese Mountain Dogs shed a lot! They have a thick, long double coat that protects them from cold weather. They experience heavier shedding typically twice a year, in the spring and fall, when they shed their undercoat. This process is sometimes referred to as “blowing coat.” During these times, the amount of hair they shed can be substantial. Additionally, Bernese Mountain Dogs shed lightly throughout the year. Regular grooming, including brushing and occasional baths, can help manage the shedding and maintain the health of their coat but if you are looking for a low-shedding dog then we suggest looking at a different type of breed.

Understanding Shedding in Dogs

Shedding is a natural process in all dogs that involves the loss of old or damaged hair to make way for new growth. This process is influenced by genetics, breed characteristics, age, health and hormonal changes.

Bernese Mountain Dogs possess a thick, double coat that provides insulation and protection from the harsh weather conditions they were originally bred to endure in the Swiss Alps. The outer coat consists of longer guard hairs, while the inner coat is soft and insulating. Shedding is a crucial part of maintaining the health and quality of their coat.

Bernese Mountain Dog Shedding Factors

  • Coat Type: Bernese Mountain Dogs have a double coat, which means they shed moderately to heavily. Twice a year, during the shedding seasons in spring and fall, they experience a significant “coat blow” to adapt to the changing weather.
  • Genetics: Shedding tendencies are hereditary, meaning that offspring inherit shedding characteristics from their parents. While you cannot predict an individual dog’s shedding level with certainty, knowing the parents’ shedding history can offer some insight.
  • Age and Health: A dog’s age and overall health can affect the intensity of shedding. Puppies typically shed less than adult dogs and certain health issues may lead to abnormal shedding patterns.
  • Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, such as those during pregnancy or after spaying/neutering, can influence shedding in Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Seasonal Shedding Patterns in Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs experience seasonal shedding as they transition between warmer and colder months. During spring, they shed their thick winter coat to prepare for rising temperatures and in fall, they shed their summer coat to grow a thicker winter coat.

How to Manage Shedding in Bernese Mountain Dogs

Managing shedding in Bernese Mountain Dogs is crucial to maintain their coat’s health and keep your home free from excessive hair. With their double coat and seasonal shedding patterns, proper grooming practices play a significant role in controlling shedding and promoting a healthy coat. Here are essential tips to effectively manage shedding in your Bernese Mountain Dog:

  • Regular Brushing: Frequent brushing is essential to remove loose hairs and prevent them from spreading throughout your home. Invest in a high-quality brush suitable for double-coated breeds and aim to brush your Bernese Mountain Dog at least two to three times per week and daily during shedding seasons.
  • Bathing: Regular baths with a dog-friendly shampoo can help keep their coat clean and healthy. However, be cautious not to over-bathe, as it may strip their coat of essential oils.
  • Diet and Nutrition: A balanced and nutritious diet can contribute to healthy skin and coat in Bernese Mountain Dogs. Consult your veterinarian to ensure you’re providing the best diet for your dog’s specific needs.
  • Professional Grooming: Consider occasional visits to a professional groomer, especially during shedding seasons. Groomers can perform thorough deshedding treatments and trim the coat as needed.

Comparing Bernese Mountain Dog Shedding to Other Breeds

While Bernese Mountain Dogs do shed moderately to heavily, their shedding can be managed with proper grooming. Comparatively, some breeds shed more profusely throughout the year, making Bernese Mountain Dogs a manageable option for individuals or families concerned about excess hair in the home.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Hypoallergenic?

No, Bernese Mountain Dogs are not hypoallergenic. The term “hypoallergenic” is often misunderstood, leading some people to believe that certain dog breeds produce fewer allergens. In reality, all dogs produce allergens and some individuals may have sensitivities to specific breeds, including Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Common Health Issues in Bernese Mountain Dogs that Can Affect Shedding

While Bernese Mountain Dogs are generally healthy and hardy dogs, like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues that may impact their shedding patterns.

  • Hip Dysplasia: This hereditary condition affects the hip joint and can lead to discomfort and reduced mobility, potentially affecting the dog’s ability to groom itself properly.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Another hereditary condition, elbow dysplasia, may impact a dog’s ability to groom its coat.
  • Hypothyroidism: A hormonal disorder that affects the thyroid gland, hypothyroidism can lead to skin and coat problems, potentially influencing shedding.

Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Shed?